Finding aid for the Louis Van Oeyen Photographs

Repository: Western Reserve Historical Society
Creator: Van Oeyen, Louis
Title: Louis Van Oeyen Photographs
Dates: 1895-1945
Extent: 10.60 linear feet (27 containers)
Abstract: Louis Van Oeyen (1865-1946) was the first photographer hired as staff on a Cleveland, Ohio, newspaper, and a pioneer in many techniques and activities of photojournalism. Van Oeyen was hired as a Cleveland Press photographer in 1901, after his photographs of the water intake explosion disaster in Lake Erie, and the assassination of President William McKinley, were published in the Press. During his career at the Press, he shot portraiture, politics, disaster, crime, scandal, and sports photographs. His greatest love was baseball, and he became official photographer for the American League in 1908, and for the World Series until 1922. Van Oeyen also helped test new photographic equipment, most notably the General Electric flash bulb in 1938. He assisted other photographers at the beginning of their careers, including Margaret Bourke-White and Herman Seid. Van Oeyen died in 1946. The collection consists of photographs and negatives taken by photographer Louis Van Oeyen before and during his career as a Cleveland Press photographer. A large portion of the collection depicts sports, particularly baseball. Other subjects include technological innovation, politics, entertainment, automobiles, aviation, horse racing, and boxing. There are extensive series of images from the Ormond Beach, Florida, auto races; the National Air Races held in Cleveland, Ohio; famous aviators; dirigibles; and ship launchings. Political coverage includes international, national and local figures, among them several presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin Roosevelt, and the coronation of King George VI of Great Britain. Celebrity portraits range from industrialists, including J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, to entertainers, such as Buster Keaton and Yehudi Menuhin. Smaller bodies of subject material include photographs of crime, disaster, legal proceedings, and story art for fictional serial stories published by the newspaper. Crime illustration includes portraits of Cassie Chadwick. Disasters include the Collinwood School and Cleveland Clinic fires; floods; and aviation, automotive, and railroad wrecks. Legal coverage includes an extensive series on the John T. Scopes "Monkey Trial," including candid portraits of Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan. The collection is strongest in images from the 1900s and the 1920s-1930s.
PG Number PG 439
Location: closed stacks
Language: The records are in English